Emily Pereira, founder of Hong Kong Cats

It’s not just dogs that need rescuing, the Hong Kong Cats’ founder tells Pauline Cheung.

Founder of Hong Kong Cats

I moved to Hong Kong about six years ago and I lived with my boyfriend and his family in Mid-Levels. I didn’t like the vibe there. However, five years ago we moved to Tan Cheung in Sai Kung. I fell in love with the town and the people and haven’t looked back.

I fall in love with Sai Kung’s beauty every day. My favourite thing is being out on the water, I am a passionate dragonboater. I really like the community – everyone is friendly here.

I started Hong Kong Cats because I noticed there were many groups helping the dogs, but no other organisation in Sai Kung helping the cats, apart from the SPCA. In our village, my neighbours would feed the cats and often found cats dumped and sometimes injured. I began taking cats in and was able to adopt them out through a Hong Kong Cats Facebook page.

Things escalated as I became more aware of the passion that my neighbours have for the local cat colony. They would feed them every day and even give them names as if they were their own pets. At the same time, I became aware of how easily cats, through no fault of their own, could be removed with one phone call to the AFCD.

I have always liked animals, but I chose to help cats because of the strays that need to be cared for. You’d be surprised how many kittens are abandoned.

Sai Kungers have been very supportive. If I put out a plea on Facebook for anything, I always have replies offering help. I have developed a strong network of foster homes and have successfully re-homed more than 70 cats, largely in Sai Kung.

I am a volunteer for my village under the SPCA’s Cat Colony Care Programme, which helps desex and microchip stray cats. All the cats in Tan Cheung are now desexed, and my plan is to continue this by helping cats in other villages in Sai Kung.

If anyone is struggling to look after a cat, I would like them to contact Hong Kong Cats instead of abandoning it. Likewise, if anyone finds an abandoned cat, instead of walking by please contact us for help.

For details, please visit www.facebook.com/saikungcat.